Today we have selected Seth Rand to take his interview. He is the Co-Founder & CEO of Wizard Digital Marketing.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
We are doing well. A couple of team members contracted COVID-19 in late 2020, but thankfully they and their families are fully recovered. It has taken some readjustment to get acclimated with a new at-home workflow, but my amazing team has been incredibly resilient. While we miss getting to work together physically, we feel so lucky that our industry allows for remote work. In a way, I think we have all grown together immensely from this experience and learned how to be all the more proactive and communicative.
Tell us about your career and how you founded or joined this company?
I got my start in e-commerce and SEO back in 2002. After helping a dozen companies over the next few years, I partnered with a pre-existing printing business to offer website design, web development, and SEO for them and their clients. That quickly expanded to Google Ads, social media, email marketing, and related services until the digital agency grew even larger than the printing business. In January 2010, I founded Rand Marketing, which grew over the following six years at such a level that our digital agency was named a Premier Google Partner and made the Inc5000 list for growth. Around that same time period, I was named South Florida 40 Under 40 and invited to speak at numerous conferences and events; after my wife passed from lymphoma cancer, I decided to sell my award-winning agency to spend some time and focus on my three children. While in my non-compete, I was a Digital Marketing Consultant for multiple businesses, including a group of car dealerships in Miami. It was a great opportunity to learn about the automotive industry and gain experience with traditional advertising and reaching a U.S. Hispanic audience. After my non-compete expired, I partnered with Luke Freeman of Wizard Creations, a top branded merchandise agency based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to open my latest digital agency, Wizard Digital Marketing, less than two years ago.
How does your company innovate?
We innovate based on consumer trends and client demand while trying to look three moves ahead. I always tell my team that results in equal retention and referrals, a philosophy I live by. It is not enough to simply work hard and do your best. You have to be passionate and care about your clients and the work you do to drive real results. We innovate by consistently evaluating and reevaluating a client’s results and A/B testing until we can optimize a channel and campaign to its fullest potential. We utilize some awesome marketing platforms and tools that help us to have a smooth workflow and valuable insights. I also find it important that we stay up to date on the latest digital trends, new features and functionality, and algorithm updates to be the best thought leader and resource to our clients.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
I’m proud to say our business doubled its revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not to say it was easy. We had to learn how to work remotely in an efficient way, both collaborating with our co-workers as well as our clients. We also had to learn how to sign new clients without any in-person interaction. As a single dad, it was also a challenge for me to stay focused on my tasks while my sons attempted to do remote learning. But this is my passion, and when so many local small and mid-sized businesses were struggling to stay afloat amid pandemic shutdowns, I felt it was my responsibility to lift up my community and help them thrive as best possible.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
There is no denying that this pandemic is acting as a catalyst for economic, societal, personal, and corporate change. Some CEOs have been forced to make difficult choices, like cutting or riding out the storm. For us, we are taking decisive action to make sure that we will be stronger when the crisis ends than we are today. We have learned how to be creative in accelerating the digital transformation for businesses across various industries. It has taken some experimentation and ongoing testing, but that is what is needed to continue to improve.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
G-Suite (Google Workspace, Hangouts, Meet) and Zoom have been paramount in our new work-from-home space. It is so important that we are all on the same page and implementing a daily “huddle” has been beneficial to productivity and overall employee morale. A brief check-in first thing in the morning has been a nice way to start the day. Plus, we are constantly “chatting” through Google Hangouts.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
As this is my third time growing a digital agency, I have retained a strong reputation after helping over 1,200 businesses throughout my career. With all of our combined experience and skill, I feel pretty confident in our ability to “stay in the game”. It is our motto of sorts to be proactive, not reactive. With that mentality and a by adding the best available talent and experience to meet our growing needs, continuing to innovate with new strategies and channels, and expanding our services based on consumer trends and client demand, we anticipate continued growth.
Your Final Thoughts
Like most marketers, the strategy we implemented a year ago is no longer relevant in this current environment. Businesses need to rethink their models and focus on key priorities to help balance operational efficiency and a digital future. We are reaching a new normal, and unfortunately, those who cannot keep up will be left behind. Now is the time to invest in your business, figure out your entrance into new markets, and be prepared for when the recovery starts.
- Spokesperson: Seth Rand
- Company: Wizard Digital Marketing
- Website: https://wizarddigital.com/